Clause 100 - CAA charges

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 13th March 2012.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Shadow Minister (Transport) 12:30 pm, 13th March 2012

Amendments 80 to 82 are in different territory to amendment 6, which was tabled by my hon. Friend. They are probing amendments that would result in changes to the consultation that the Civil Aviation Authority must hold regarding charging schemes. Under our proposals, the CAA would have to show the Secretary of State the result of the consultation that, under the Bill, it must carry out with those who are likely to be affected or would have an opinion on the charging scheme. It is very much a matter of interpretation, and one on which we should be grateful for the Minister’s reassurance.

Our interpretation is that the wording of the Bill allows the CAA to carry out the consultation, but not pass on the results of that consultation to the Secretary of State, which would mean that she did not get the information, and that the results could be ignored.

Amendment 82 relates to the minimum period of time in which a charging scheme would come into force after being published. Under the Bill, that period would be cut from 60 to 14 days. We are asking a very pertinent question: 60 days is a significant time—two months—and it is being reduced to only two weeks; why does the Minister think that such a massive reduction can be made?

Let me turn to amendments 80 and 81. Subsection (1) of the clause says that section 11 of the 1982 Act is to be amended. Subsection (2) says:

“omit ‘, after consultation with the Secretary of State,’”.

Subsection (3) says:

“Before making a scheme…the CAA must…consult the persons…and…after consulting those persons, consult the Secretary of State.”

It does not say that the information has to be shared. We would not want the Secretary of State to be shut out. The amendments are designed to give us reassurance that the Secretary of State will be fully involved.